action, cinemas, comic book, entertainment, film reviews, movie clips, MOVIE REVIEWS, movies, news, news & Gossip, PEOPLE, shit movie/franchise, thriller, trailers, Uncategorized, updates, WTF?!

Review: Green Lantern

GREEN LANTERN 

reviewer Dexter Kong
Rated: 12a (UK)
Release Date: June 17th, 2011(UK)
DirectorMartin Campbell
CastRyan ReynoldsBlake LivelyPeter SarsgaardMark StrongTim RobbinsAngela Bassett

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The Green Lantern is the latest in the DC franchise of comic book heroes. You could say that with the current onslaught of never ending comic book films coming from both sides of the powerhouses that are DC & Marvel, that The Green Lantern seemed like a weak choice. When discussing the character with friends a common occurrence in conversation is, “so he can pretty much make anything with his ring, he’s pretty much invincible then!” to which I can only reply “No, but it’s vulnerable to the colour yellow”.. rather weak reply but in fact the truth, conversation usually stops there as an absurd realisation kicks in. Yet in DC’s slate of comic book heroes The Green Lantern is up there with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and The Flash in. So why does this not translate across in the Martin Campbell film?

The Green Lantern is about an intergalactic space corps called… the Green Lanterns. They act as a police force for different space sectors. Their power derives from a ring which can pretty much transfer thought in to solid matter or “constructs”, the ring itself is somewhat sentient. Their home world is a place called OA, where the head of their corps “The Guardians” reside.

One of the Lanterns crash lands on earth after being fatally wounded by an ominous evil being called Parallax and sends his ring to find a new replacement. Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a reckless fighter jet pilot, is chosen by the ring and becomes the new Lantern. Erst while that still ominous evil being Parallax in on a collision course for OA.. but via Earth. Up to speed yet?

The problem with the Green Lantern is that it lies within a complex universe. But the potential was there to try and establish the franchise as a new Star Wars. This film fails massively short of that and in trying to encompass something of a grand scale there was just not enough imagination or time invested in establishing character or settings.

The entire structure of the film feels like a first act with mini encounters tossed about here and there to try keep the audience engaged; these encounters are incredibly unoriginal and akin to something you would expect from a low budget film. It’s the equivalent of Superman just saving Lois from the falling helicopter every 15 minutes until the end.

Much like the latter Star Wars films, the world of OA is comprised entirely of a CGI back stage and unfortunately feels as such. It is always a gripe of mine when a world is established in a sweeping long shot, yet every instance of characters interacting on the settings feels removed, without any substance or consistency.

The introduction of the intergalactic ‘Green Lantern Corps’ was almost a footnote as they pretty much play no part in the in the film other than a set up at the beginning and a runaway soon after. They acted as a conduit of everything that the character could possibly do or be, but the rest of the film seems to ignore this. There is no bond between themselves or Hal Jordan so they become a rather faceless entity, lead by the underused Mark Strong as Sinestro. Though it must be hard to bond with the character of Hal Jordan as he himself is a non-entity. His character has nothing about him which sets him apart from anybody other than that of being played by Ryan Reynolds. There is an incredible beat missed within this character. It is someone who should be conflicted with emotion, headstrong and rash, though there is never any opportunity for decisions other than what is morally black and white, and he moves through the film unopposed and without purpose. Hell even making him an alcoholic would’ve given him more drama.

The strength of the Green Lantern character lies in the ability to be creative with his ability and there are moments of that more so in the finale battle, but at points it is needlessly put to use; i.e in the saving of a helicopter which ended up looking like more hassle than it’s worth. Sure this is what the Green Lantern comics was pulling back in it’s original 1940 inception but to a modern audience (by modern I’m suggesting anyone not from the 1940s!) a slightly more gritty pull is needed.

I scanned the cinema as I entered and found that it was mostly made up of children with their parents, this stuck in the back of my mind and my suspicions were soon to be confirmed. The action had a comic pulp feel to it of the old Batman *wham kerrpow* variety and as one of the constructs Hal Jordan perceived became springs underneath a truck, that actively made comical *boing* sound, I felt a little of my childhood Green Lantern comic love die inside.

Though there is no doubting that the main appeal of it’s broad 12A rating was towards a younger, new generation of kids. There is still no reason why it cannot maintain at least some seriousness. When we look at the tent pole franchises of DC’s Batman and Marvel’s Ironman we can see that The Green Lantern is lost, entranced by the green glow of it’s own suit.

With a reported budget rising to that of $300 million, it is hard not to find fault in director Martin Campbell’s decision to be heavily reliant upon the use of CGI. Sure it is a character which strongly required it, but there was bad CGI littered throughout this film. The constant rejiggery to the CGI mask (which had fans complaining since the first trailer was released) was glaringly apparent, at times there was a ‘Pinocchio’ effect going on as it floated about his extended nose. In the bigger scheme of things, the focus on the need to make the Green Lantern suit seem organic is just a raindrop in an ocean of problems.

The main villain of Parallax was possibly one of the laziest forms of imagination I have witnessed. A leaked image of the character appeared online prior to the film’s release and  looked spot on (essentially the character is meant to be the embodiment of fear).

What we ended up with is an undulating smoke cloud with a face.. Surely we learned the lesson from Galactus in the Fantastic Four movie. Possibly one of Marvel’s most epic characters reduced to some immaterial “thing”. The mind boggles.

If ever there were a way not to kick start a potentially lucrative franchise, this would be it. Green Lantern promises an epic adventure but without any actual character development, interesting storyline or investment in the characters, ends up as lazy comic fodder. If you would like to see a true representation of what this character and universe should be like them I recommend checking out the DC animated releases.

MOVIE RATING: 1.5/5

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Vodpod videos no longer available.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Advertisements
Standard

2 thoughts on “Review: Green Lantern

  1. Pingback: Warner Bros Considering A Sequel For GREEN LANTERN « Thepeoplesmovies.com

  2. Pingback: Green Lantern (2011) « A Glimpse to my Life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s